San Francisco Sits on Carry Permit Applications As Legislators Consider New Gun Restrictions
Seven months after the Supreme Court upheld the constitutional right to bear arms, San Francisco has not issued a single permit to carry a concealed weapon (CCW). Nor has it denied any CCW applications. Licensing officials in the gun-averse city seem to be dragging their feet in anticipation of local or state legislation that would severely restrict the ability to legally carry handguns for self-defense, defying what the Court has said the Second Amendment requires.
In New York State Rifle & Pistol Association v. Bruen, decided on June 23, the Court said licensing officials may not require that carry-permit applicants “demonstrate a special need for self-protection distinguishable from that of the general community.” Anti-gun legislators in New York and New Jersey responded by eliminating such requirements while imposing new restrictions on obtaining and using CCW permits. San Francisco’s strategy fits that general trend of resistance but stands out as especially brazen.
The San Francisco Police Department and the San Francisco Sheriff’s Department “have seen a spike in CCW applications” since Bruen, the San Francisco Chronicle reports. “In the past, the Sheriff’s Department and the Police Department have reported receiving only a few CCW applications a year. But in the three months after the Bruen decision, the police force received more than 100 applications, public records show.”
Police accepted those applications but did not act on them. “While other counties are working through waves of applications,” the Chronicle says, “San Francisco has yet to grant a single permit since the court’s ruling seven months ago.”
The official excuse: We’ve never had to do this before. “This is a new administrative process,” Sheriff’s Capt. Jamala Sanford told the Chronicle. “It’s taken some time to set up the administrative process so that we understand and are on the same page with everybody about the steps that have to be taken—both by the applicant and us—before we can issue or deny an actual permit.” A city police spokesman told the paper that “the department ‘has been working diligently’ to update procedures around CCW applications.” So far it has “created a new unit to process applications” and “identified a vendor to conduct mandatory firearms training.”
Under California’s pre-Bruen policy, applicants had to show “good cause” for exercising their Second Amendment rights. In San Francisco, the Chronicle notes, “no cause has been judged good enough.”
In 1995, the city issued 13 CCW permits. The successful applicants included “three Superior Court judges, a retired U.S. Army general and several attorneys and investigators.” By 2014, “fewer than 10 people had the permits in San Francisco,” and “it’s not clear whether any are currently issued in the city,” because “the Police Department did not respond to requests for that information.”
All of that was supposed to change after Bruen. In a June 24 “legal alert” to law enforcement agencies, California Attorney General Rob Bonta acknowledged that “permitting agencies may no longer require a demonstration of ‘good cause’ in order to obtain a concealed carry permit.” But he added that, in his view, “the requirement that a public-carry license applicant provide proof of ‘good moral
Article from Reason.com